Iranian Officials: Israel, U.S. ‘Cannot Threaten Iran’

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami. (Reuters/Stringer)

In its first official statement on Israel’s attacks against Iranian military installations in Iran, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said Thursday that “the criminal activities of Israel this night will not go unanswered. They will receive an appropriate response.” Neither Israel, the United States, or any other country “can threaten Iran,” Hatami said.

A Lebanese newspaper quoted a Syrian military source as saying that Iranian and Syrian officials were “seething” over the Israeli attacks. Speaking to the Al Nashra newspaper, the source said that “Israel is raising tensions, and this has become a main topic for us to deal with. The Israeli actions will be responded to by defensive measures and the firing of missiles at Israeli targets.”

“Today, with attention to the defensive power of our country, we’re in a situation that Islamic Iran cannot be militarily threatened by any foreign power,” Hatami said.

Hatami said Iran would continue to develop its missile program. President Donald Trump cited the lack of any provisions in the Iran nuclear deal to rein in the Islamic Republic’s missile development as one of the reasons why he decided to pull out of the deal.

“We will increase our defensive strength day by day and we will upgrade our missile strength per our schedule to blind the eye of those who wish ill for these people,” Hatami said, according to Fars News.

Meanwhile, Iranian media and media associated with Hezbollah in Lebanon were claiming Thursday that they had scored a “great victory” against Israel with the firing of over 20 missiles at Israeli military targets. The reports published a list of specific military bases, including logistics centers, repair bases and military commands, that they claimed were destroyed in the attacks.

Images of Syrian soldiers standing alongside supposedly downed Israeli missiles were shown as well. The reports did not say who was behind the attacks. The IDF said that no missiles hit Israeli territory, and that all missiles that were fired at Israel were either shot down by Iron Dome missile defense systems, or fell in Syrian territory.